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Program Information

Controlling Stuff, Beating Stress, and Finding Work-Life Balance

D Jordan

D Jordan1*, (1) University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland, OH

MO-F-137-1 Monday 4:30PM - 5:15PM Room: 137

Many busy professionals are susceptible to stress, burnout, and other work-related conditions that detract from their quality of life. Medical physicists are no exception, and in some ways are even more susceptible to these pressures and difficulties than other professionals. The challenges to maintaining physical and mental stamina are real and fast-changing due to advances in technology, economic forces, and generational shifts and trends in the workforce. A stressed or burned-out individual is probably working harder than he or she needs to due to inefficient workflow. Such people tend to take a lot of work home with them, negatively impacting their priorities outside the workplace. As the stress mounts, it is typical to feel that one needs to “get organized” or improve “time management” in order to improve the situation. Most such efforts fail, if they are even begun.

There are a number of popular approaches to time management and goal-setting which fail to address these challenges because they take an unrealistic approach. These methods fail because they don’t give the user control over his or her situation. Unpleasant and difficult circumstances generate the most stress when the individual feels out of control.

A successful approach to time, task, and stress management must be based on principles, but these principles must be tied to implementing clear and simple practices. This session will introduce a set of principles for managing time, tasks, and resources, beginning with attention. Examples of specific practices that support the principles will be discussed. The meaning of “work-life balance” will be explored as it relates to the medical physics profession. Attendees will learn an approach to controlling their attention and focus so they can move toward aligning their day-to-day activities with their longer-term goals.

Learning objectives:
1. Explain what work-life balance means to you.
2. Describe the principles of self-direction and control that are needed to align activities with goals and priorities.
3. List three practices that lead to greater personal control and greater efficiency.

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